Critics Consensus

Hardy Rises, but Venom Sinks Like a Brock

Plus, A Star Is Born is Certified Fresh.

by | October 4, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a persuasive PSA against the dangers of touching alien goo (Venom, starring Tom Hardy and Riz Ahmed) and a celestial body reincarnated (A Star Is Born, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga). What are the critics saying?


Venom (2018) 29%

Filmmakers are always faced with a tricky balance when attempting to adapt comics properties — the reason these characters make such appealing targets for adaptations is that they’re well known to a built-in fanbase, but the source material is tough to film without taking into account decades of increasingly complex stories. That’s a big bugaboo with Venom, which seeks to bring a wildly popular Spider-Man anti-hero to the big screen without tackling wide swaths of his (admittedly quite weird) origin story — or even involving the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler at all. That isn’t impossible, but it’s definitely difficult, and unfortunately, critics say the folks behind this movie weren’t up to the task. Starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, the down-on-his-luck journalist who finds himself unwillingly bonded with the titular bloodthirsty alien symbiote, Venom struggles to nail down its world-building elements while maintaining a tough tonal balance. It’s one part split personality comedy, one part brutal action thriller, and one part would-be superhero franchise starter — and unsurprisingly, reviews describe it as pretty much a complete mess. Fans of the character have been waiting years to see him get his proper cinematic due, but most of them will likely be left wanting after this.


A Star Is Born (2018) 90%

Last week’s updated Little Women didn’t exactly strike a chord with critics, but the pundits don’t always reject new versions of repeatedly remade movies. For our latest evidence, here’s A Star Is Born, which sees debuting director Bradley Cooper behind the lens for the latest take on a tale that first arrived in theaters in 1937 — and again in 1954, then yet again in 1976. You’d think there probably wouldn’t be much left to bring to the story, but this update proves that assumption delightfully wrong: critics say Cooper proves a deft hand in the director’s chair, and his chemistry opposite Gaga — whose own performance has prompted a chorus of cries echoing the film’s title — is more than enough to sell their characters’ Star-crossed romance all by itself. This project languished in development hell for years, but the extra time hasn’t hurt at all; reviews say the story of a struggling singer (Gaga) who falls in with a recording artist battling personal demons (Cooper) remains effortlessly absorbing in the right hands, and it’s in some excellent ones here. Expect to see a lot of sniffling patrons streaming out of A Star Is Born screenings this weekend — and don’t be surprised if this movie ends up being a big part of the conversation come awards season.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Star Wars Christmas Showtime Mindy Kaling TCA Winter 2020 cults IFC Nat Geo dceu Tumblr Brie Larson talk show Character Guide Binge Guide psychological thriller FXX zombies dramedy Shudder LGBTQ Family YouTube Shondaland unscripted based on movie natural history sitcom 2020 Reality Lucasfilm Star Trek thriller RT21 Toys Columbia Pictures Television Academy finale green book 21st Century Fox Tarantino GoT Watching Series indie PaleyFest directors renewed TV shows Amazon Prime jamie lee curtis Spectrum Originals Thanksgiving joker ESPN TBS Pop Countdown cartoon Comics on TV YA cinemax Fox News VH1 A24 OneApp ABC Family VICE boxoffice Musicals 71st Emmy Awards Lionsgate Avengers serial killer 2019 DC Universe BBC Premiere Dates Podcast comics TCM adventure Rock Trailer diversity Song of Ice and Fire canceled History Rocketman Valentine's Day streaming sequel cancelled television Discovery Channel The Walking Dead cancelled TV shows Lifetime Christmas movies Logo The CW binge 2018 RT History SundanceTV TV renewals toy story Music Walt Disney Pictures YouTube Premium American Society of Cinematographers HBO Nickelodeon TCA 2017 comiccon Disney Apple Infographic NBC space Turner Reality Competition hist Women's History Month Film Festival 24 frames anthology National Geographic Crackle Mystery Awards Stephen King CBS supernatural movies quibi Marathons cats Hulu TLC rotten movies we love transformers Mary Tyler Moore Disney+ Disney Plus strong female leads Acorn TV Sci-Fi name the review Hallmark Christmas movies nature psycho NYCC Video Games independent YouTube Red hispanic Musical TV Horror social media blaxploitation medical drama Photos Paramount Network Superheroe Esquire SDCC Awards Tour Apple TV+ First Reviews Mary poppins blockbuster OWN Arrowverse Election CMT spain Paramount cancelled stand-up comedy miniseries cooking 45 technology comic GLAAD biography Trophy Talk Dark Horse Comics reboot latino Cartoon Network Fall TV Animation Country Mary Poppins Returns Spring TV slashers harry potter Quiz Polls and Games Cosplay San Diego Comic-Con spinoff Starz Creative Arts Emmys Action Marvel Television BBC America Turner Classic Movies Teen A&E Epix halloween FX El Rey TIFF Lifetime 007 Winter TV crime thriller E3 video mutant travel Amazon what to watch Set visit Black Mirror Drama Britbox Holiday First Look Marvel Marvel Studios ratings Pixar CW Seed Peacock Pet Sematary Interview spanish language WGN Red Carpet Nominations docudrama Trivia GIFs Sundance Comic Book Captain marvel disaster Pirates MCU Best and Worst free movies Vudu kids Sundance Now award winner Tubi Warner Bros. DGA MTV Heroines Sneak Peek tv talk Cannes breaking bad Baby Yoda sports richard e. Grant anime dragons aliens CNN TNT cars ITV Extras festivals romantic comedy crossover USA Network 20th Century Fox Disney Channel Masterpiece Grammys Mudbound zombie Chernobyl SXSW television Anna Paquin Hallmark werewolf Ghostbusters cancelled TV series Comedy Central Fantasy Oscars Super Bowl Pride Month FOX sag awards Universal Calendar witnail Sony Pictures Kids & Family Academy Awards game of thrones revenge Rom-Com cops justice league Summer casting Apple TV Plus X-Men Emmys WarnerMedia Winners HBO Max Sundance TV 2015 spider-man doctor who golden globes discovery Netflix Box Office TV Land Film politics New York Comic Con The Purge Endgame Freeform Spike President Netflix Christmas movies Disney Plus AMC science fiction Opinion adaptation children's TV facebook MSNBC Adult Swim versus crime drama See It Skip It Crunchyroll The Arrangement Food Network 2017 composers period drama theme song series Biopics foreign animated BET vampires Schedule mockumentary ABC romance zero dark thirty The Witch Tomatazos teaser PBS elevated horror political drama Ellie Kemper historical drama spy thriller police drama Certified Fresh singing competition true crime Western Year in Review Rocky robots 2016 book Emmy Nominations Ovation canceled TV shows TruTV USA TCA war IFC Films LGBT Superheroes Writers Guild of America christmas movies screenings Classic Film ghosts Martial Arts DC Comics crime dc Elton John Comedy Syfy DirecTV DC streaming service south america Amazon Prime Video APB Holidays batman game show screen actors guild Disney streaming service E! Chilling Adventures of Sabrina CBS All Access Bravo